FORTIS/OLAD – Test and Evaluation of the Industrial Human Augmentation System for Corrosion Control Applications

NCMS Project #: 140723

Problem: Many industrial tools such as heat induction units, grinders, blasters, and water lances employed for corrosion control, remediation, and other uses, are often heavy and awkward to use. These factors limit productivity and impact quality as workers need frequent rest and stretch breaks as a result of the efforts in using these heavy tools, and from applications that require uncomfortable contortions of the worker’s body. These factors also limit the worker’s allowable tool weight.

Benefit: This technology has direct applicability to all DoD industrial, maintenance and repair organizations as well as the commercial industry. It is applicable to the majority of heavy industrial equipment that requires construction, maintenance or repair in DoD industrial facilities. This includes grinding, welding, sanding, water and abrasive blasting operations and many other processes used in vehicle, aircraft, and ship maintenance and repair.

Solution/Approach: Augmenting the worker with an exoskeleton and attached tool holding arm (these together constitute iHAS unit) would provide the means to remove the weight of the tool from the worker while providing maximum mobility. The focus of this CTMA initiative is to enable the heavy maintenance community to adopt iHAS-like capabilities to the benefit of their maintainers and business enterprise. The shipyards will execute industrial test and evaluation assessments of iHAS units doing actual production work in the shipyards over a five month period addressing a variety of corrosion control applications. In addition, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division will record physiological data at Norfolk using a BioHarness.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Reduces injuries
  • Reduces rework
  • Boosts productivity and improves quality
  • Impacts financial and human bottom line

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Navy (Puget Sound)
  • U.S. Navy (Norfolk)
  • U.S. Navy (NSWC Carderock)

Industry Participation:

  • Lockheed Martin
  • BAE Systems
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Maintenance management improvement

Focus Area:

  • Energy, environmental, health, and safety